Bombardment Header
Home | Contact Us

Oliver Sarony
1820 - 1879

Gainsborough House behind St. Martin's Church 1863 Gainsborough House behind the church

This early engraving of the Church in 1863 gives one of the clearest views of Gainsborough House, which pre-dates the church by 6 years.

The German Bombardment of Scarborough
Wednesday 16th December 1914 0800
Sarony Square: Vandyke House and Gainsborough House

These two buildings were demolished soon after the war, not because of the purely superficial damage sustained during the bombardment, but because of action by the British army!

The properties were used to billet troops throughout the war, and the internal damage due to soldiers using anything they could find as fuel in the winter led to irrepairable damage and eventual demolition. Considering the only real damage to the buildings during the bombardment were broken windows, particularly in Gainsborough House, the buildings can be considered to have escaped lightly from German demolition experts.

Interestingly, Gainsborough House was purpose built for Oliver Sarony, and was the location of his famous photographic studios and Wellington Gallery where portraits, paintings and, indeed, memorabilia from the Duke himself were displayed.

Oliver Sarony had originally moved to Scarborough opening his first studio in Alfred Street in 1857. He immediately commisioned a local firm of architects, John and David Petch, to build him "an establishment with every convenience for carrying out Photography to perfection."

These new photograpic studios, pre-dating the chuch by five years, opened in July the following year, and were built on the land opposite his Alfred Street enterprise on what is now the Albion Street car park.

Sarony was photographer to Queen Victoria, as well as earning a fortune from photographing the thriving wealthier visitors to the town during the Victorian period. He died in 1879 but his business continued for many years afterwards eventually relocating in Huntriss Row. He is remembered today only through the name of "Oliver Street" on the east side of the car park.

Frustratingly I have been able to find no quality images of this property, but those below offer a hint of the buildings. All may be enlarged.

   Photos of Sarony Square Vandyke House Albion Road Church before 1879 South Street bombardment damage Tennis Courts Car Park Vandyke House 1914 Building opposite the site of Vandyke House House date and busts    

Back to Bombardment Index page